American Pharoah: The 12th Triple Crown Winner

American Pharoah is a thoroughbred horse that is well-known in the nation for becoming a Triple Crown champion in 2015, becoming the 12th horse in history and the first horse in 37 years to achieve this feat since Affirmed.

American Pharoah's Profile

  • Place of Birth: Stockplace Farm in Winchester, Kentucky

  • Date of Birth: Feb. 2, 2012

  • Sex: Stallion

  • Owner: Ahmed Zayat/Zayat Stables, LLC

  • Trainer: Bob Baffert

  • Sire: Pioneerof the Nile

  • Dam: Littleprincessemma

  • Jockey(s): Martin Garcia (2014) and Victor Espinoza (2014-2018)

  • Record: 11: 9-1-0

  • Career Earnings: 2014 Eclipse Champion 2-year-old male; 2015 Eclipse Champion 3-year-old; 2015 Triple Crown winner (12th in history); 2015 Eclipse Horse of the Year award

American Pharoah's Achievements

American Pharoah has made many achievements during its career. The biggest and most well-known accomplishment was when it became the 12th Triple Crown winner in history in 2015. He became the first horse in 37 years to do so. American Pharoah also won the Breeder's Cup Classic in that same year to become the first horse to ever achieve the Grand Slam of Thoroughbred racing. All of these achievements throughout 2015 has earned him the Eclipse Horse of the Year award. He has also received two more Eclipse awards: one in 2014 for champion 2-year-old male and another in 2015 for champion 3-year-old male.

Notable Remarks

American Pharoah's sire was a second-place finisher in the 2009 Kentucky Derby, and his dam was the 2015 Breedmare of the Year. His great-grandfather was Unbridled, winner of the 1990 Kentucky Derby. He also got a chance to be a sire for the first time to Under the Oaks. Unfortunately, the life of Under the Oaks would be cut short following a fiery, tractor-trailer crash on the New Jersey Turnpike in June. The incident killed it plus nine other horses.

Before winning the Triple Crown, American Pharoah was only getting started with his racing career. In his first-ever race at Del Mar in August 2014, he finished 5th place. That would be the only time he would finish anywhere below first place. His jockey was Martin Garcia at the time. American Pharoah would return there a month later with Espinoza as his newest jockey and finished in 1st place. Then, they finished seven more races in 1st place en route to the Triple Crown before that streak broke in August 2015 at Saratoga, New York.

American Pharoah retired from racing in 2018. However, his retirement wouldn't find any peace yet when it became part of a lawsuit at the beginning of January 2020. According to the Paulick Report, his owner, Zayat, was sued for $23 million by MGG Investments, a lending company based out of New York. They accused him of secretly selling a total of nine breeding rights and using it for other means of collateral instead of paying off his debt. Members of his family, except him, would earn a share of those rights. $23 million represented the amount of money American Pharoah would have won throughout his career, but he won a lifetime total of over $8 million instead. Zayat was caught in a web of massive debt, owing trainers, vet providers, and other liabilities over thousands or even millions of dollars. Years after the lawsuit, Zayat would file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy.

American Pharoah currently stands as a breeder in Coolmore's Ashford Stud, a division of Ireland's Coolmore Stud in Versailles, Kentucky. This farm bought the breeding rights to American Pharoah before winning the Triple Crown. American Pharoah also went on to sire some new breeds long after the death of Under the Oaks. These three breeds (American Butterfly, Sweet Melania, and Another Miracle) had their first win in Saratoga at 2-years-old.